Improving my Twitter @reply notifications with Yahoo! Pipes

Yesterday, I wrote about how to use Notfiy.me to get email notifications when people @reply to you on Twitter. I found this morning that the emails don’t show you who it was that replied to you, since the author field in the feed isn’t passed on by Notify.me.

Yahoo! Pipes to the rescue! I made a little pipe that takes the author field and sticks it onto the front of each item’s title and description. You can see the source here or you can get to an RSS feed customised for you by replacing “USERNAME” below with your Twitter user name:

http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=KKBcnXP_3RG3RCDadPQQIA&_render=rss&username=USERNAME

I wondered how introducing another layer between me and the data would affect the timeliness of the alerts, especially since I know Yahoo! Pipes uses some amount of caching of its feeds. Some evidence collected a year ago by Day Barr suggests that Pipes will hit the original source every 10 minutes, which I feel is often enough for gathering new @replies from Twitter (this would become a problem if I had more than 15 replies in 10 minutes, which is the number of items in the feed from search.twitter.com).

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